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The Best Times to Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy and infection free. But when is the best time to brush your teeth? First, let’s go over the basics.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. When you do this, it helps remove food and plaque- a film that forms over your teeth and contains bacteria. After you eat a meal that contains sugar, bacteria sitting on your teeth can release acids that attack tooth enamel. If this happens repeatedly, tooth enamel decays and can lead to cavities. Plaque that isn’t removed can turn into tartar, making it hard for people to clean.

A toothbrush should be changed every three or four months, when the bristles look frayed, or after you’ve been sick. In addition to changing your toothbrush often, you should floss daily and schedule regular check-ups to maintain optimum dental health.

Those who are extra adamant about dental health may find themselves brushing immediately after each meal or after snacks. But is this the best thing for your teeth?

Research shows that brushing teeth too soon after meals and drinks, especially after those which are acidic can do more harm than good. Those with acid reflux can experience a similar problem: while it may seem like a good idea to brush after experiencing acid reflux, doing so can damage your teeth.

But how? Acid attacks the teeth, erodes enamel and dentin below it. According to Dr. Howard R. Gamble from the Academy of General Dentistry, brushing can accelerate the acid in enamel erosion. If you brush too soon, you could actually end up pushing the acid deeper into the enamel and dentin, causing extra erosion.

In one study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology, a group of volunteers were examined for the impact of brushing teeth immediately after they drank diet soda. After 21 days, Scientists found an increase in dentin loss when brushing 20 minutes after drinking soda. When examining subjects who brushed their teeth 30 to 60 minutes after the diet soda, there was considerably less wear and tear.

The studies’ conclusion is that people should wait at least 30 minutes to brush their teeth after a meal, snack, or beverage in order to protect teeth. If you still feel like you need to do something right away, try rinsing your mouth out with water, or use an acid-neutralizing formula: one part baking soda, eight parts water.

It’s also important that you schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings so we can help you maintain your healthy smile! If it’s been less than six months since you’ve had a check-up, it’s time to come see us! Contact us today at (239) 936-0597 or

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